Sunlight…its that time of year…

If there is one thing many of us have difficulty figuring out it is balance. The topic of the dangers of the sun being one of them. I am fortunate in having enough premed and health education, not to mention contact with physicians who stay on top of the research to benefit from accumulated wisdom.
Case in point. For several years we have all been told, and to the substantial profit of pharmaceutical companies, that we should avoid sunlight on our skin at all costs, and live under a constant thick layer of sunscreen and shade. It is true that sun damage can be nasty, causing everything from premature aging to skin cancer, even deadly skin cancer. This comes from OVER exposure,and particularly from sun burns. As research and common sense show however, too little sunlight exposure is as, if not even more dangerous. In fact, too little sunlight is now identified as one of the most significant factors in number of cancers, including skin cancer!
Furthermore the deficiency of Vit D, primarily produced via sun exposure, leads to great many other ailments including osteoporosis, bone loss, depression, immune dysfunction, cardio decrease, muscle loss. etc etc. All the while your skin is absorbing any number of toxins via synthetically produced sunscreens. Olympic medalist Denna Kastor, whom I share a coach with (Dr Joe Vigil) is the classic case. Having a predisposition towards skin cancer she got near fanatic about sun protection and sunscreen. In time, even with a outstanding diet and training, her bone loss was severe enough (not to mention other effects such as continued pre-cancer and skin cancer cells) that her foot broke during the Olympic marathon. The cause; lack of Vit D via the sun. Since then Denna, under the direction of her physicians, not only has upped her intake of Vit D via diet but includes 30 plus minutes minimum of daily exposed sunlight to as much of her skin as possible before applying sunscreen. Now she not only feels way stronger, her bones are solid again, her mental clarity is improved, and her skin is the healthiest it has ever been.
Her doctors gave her essentially the same prescription I have been given by no less than 5 physicians including two dermatologists.. to maintain a diet rich in vit D (including a cod-liver oil supplement) and 30-90 minutes of exposed sunlight a day without ever ever getting burned. Furthermore that a “light” tan provides protection against a damaging potential sunburn. Guess what? My pre-cancer and skin cancers cells have disappeared to near nothing. Any I do experience are likely the result of sunburns I suffered years ago in my youth.
I encourage you all to read the following links as a back up to my own insights. 
Remember, I am not a physician, only sharing my own insights and experience as an athlete and fitness professional. Check this out on your own, I am not responsible for either your sunburns, skin cancer, or pasty white sun starved body.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/ID/7875140/

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s805444.htm

http://www.naturalnews.com/003069.html

http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=16994

http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=16940

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-301–13364-0,00.html

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